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Thread: Is it even possible to have a Borate reading of 365 ppm?

  1. #1
    Junior Member efm1972's Avatar
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    Is it even possible to have a Borate reading of 365 ppm?

    I test my pool water daily myself, but I also take water to pool store once per week. For the first time all season, the test included a reading for Borate, and the reading was 365 ppm. Is it even possible to get a reading that high?

    My follow up question is how did Borates get in my pool? I did not specifically add Borates, but I did switch from Tri-Chlor tabs to liquid Chlorine Bleach about 1 month ago.

    Because I have not been testing for Borates, and the pool store just provided this reading for the first time (in fact, I did not even notice it on the computer print out until I got home), I have not even thought about Borates at all.

    Our water has been clear all season and we have had no issues. My readings today (from pool store) were as follows:

    FC = 2.00
    TC = 2.10
    CC = 0.10
    pH = 7.6
    Hard =286
    Alk = 112
    CYA = 100
    Borate = 365

    Do I need to be concerned or take an actions to correct the high Borate level?

    Thanks in advance!
    18,500 gallons, DE filter, IG
    Onyx Ansylbrite (colored) plaster
    Jandy Pump 1.0 HP, Zodiac Filter (flow rate = 120 gpm)
    Installed May 2012

  2. #2
    Senior Member dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Is it even possible to have a Borate reading of 365 ppm?

    Not very likely. Is your CYA really 100?
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

  3. #3
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    Re: Is it even possible to have a Borate reading of 365 ppm?

    The reading is most likely an error of some type. Some options:

    1) Take a sample back to the same store without telling them that you were in previously, and ask for a full water analysis, including borates. Of course, you will have to make sure that the same employee is not around.
    2) Get your own test strips to test for borates.
    3) Take a sample in to another store.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Is it even possible to have a Borate reading of 365 ppm?

    Have you been using anything else besides bleach and trichlor tablets?

    Bioguard Optimizer will add Borates. I'm sure there's other packaged pool chemicals that have Borates as well, hidden behind some euphemistic name.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Is it even possible to have a Borate reading of 365 ppm?

    How do your own numbers for the other non-borates items compare?
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

  6. #6
    Junior Member efm1972's Avatar
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    Re: Is it even possible to have a Borate reading of 365 ppm?

    My readings for FC, TC, CC, pH and Alk are all consistent with the pool store readings.
    18,500 gallons, DE filter, IG
    Onyx Ansylbrite (colored) plaster
    Jandy Pump 1.0 HP, Zodiac Filter (flow rate = 120 gpm)
    Installed May 2012

  7. #7
    Junior Member efm1972's Avatar
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    Re: Is it even possible to have a Borate reading of 365 ppm?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    Have you been using anything else besides bleach and trichlor tablets?

    Bioguard Optimizer will add Borates. I'm sure there's other packaged pool chemicals that have Borates as well, hidden behind some euphemistic name.
    Other than the Tri-Chlor (which I used in the 1st half of this season), Muriatic Acid, Baking Soda and Jack's Magic, I am not adding anything else to the pool. Since it's a new plaster pool, it was recommended that I use 8 oz of Jack's on a weekly basis. The only ingredient listed on the Jack's bottle is Phosphonic Acid.
    18,500 gallons, DE filter, IG
    Onyx Ansylbrite (colored) plaster
    Jandy Pump 1.0 HP, Zodiac Filter (flow rate = 120 gpm)
    Installed May 2012

  8. #8
    Junior Member efm1972's Avatar
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    Re: Is it even possible to have a Borate reading of 365 ppm?

    Quote Originally Posted by dmanb2b
    Not very likely. Is your CYA really 100?
    Yes, this is why I switched to Liquid Chlorine Bleach, so I don't add anymore CYA. Also, I am backwashing more frequently (taking extra water out and replacing with tap water) for the rest of the season. With the pool close about a month or so away, the pool will be drained below the return lines, so I figure by next season, I will start with a reasonable CYA number. Since I will be primarily using Liquid Chlorine Bleach starting next season (only use Tri-Chlor when on vacation), I don't think I will have such an elevated CYA next year.

    Thoughts?
    18,500 gallons, DE filter, IG
    Onyx Ansylbrite (colored) plaster
    Jandy Pump 1.0 HP, Zodiac Filter (flow rate = 120 gpm)
    Installed May 2012

  9. #9
    Senior Member UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Is it even possible to have a Borate reading of 365 ppm?

    If you can; take a sample to a different store and get their input as well. My local hardware store tested my water and told me I had zero TA later after dumping pounds of increased in it registered 20ppm. The other measured values were pretty close to my tf100 results.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

  10. #10
    Senior Member dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Is it even possible to have a Borate reading of 365 ppm?

    Quote Originally Posted by efm1972
    Quote Originally Posted by dmanb2b
    Not very likely. Is your CYA really 100?
    Yes, this is why I switched to Liquid Chlorine Bleach, so I don't add anymore CYA. Also, I am backwashing more frequently (taking extra water out and replacing with tap water) for the rest of the season. With the pool close about a month or so away, the pool will be drained below the return lines, so I figure by next season, I will start with a reasonable CYA number. Since I will be primarily using Liquid Chlorine Bleach starting next season (only use Tri-Chlor when on vacation), I don't think I will have such an elevated CYA next year.

    Thoughts?
    I'm sure you may know this by now, but FC of ppm with CYA at 100 is too low. I think your strategy makes sense. Have you tested CYA via 50:50 dilution of the pool water sample with tap water to make sure it's actually 100 and not something higher? If, so then what you are suggesting makes perfect sense, but you should be maintaining an FC of 12ppm average, while your CYA level is that high.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

  11. #11
    Junior Member efm1972's Avatar
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    Re: Is it even possible to have a Borate reading of 365 ppm?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW
    The reading is most likely an error of some type. Some options:

    1) Take a sample back to the same store without telling them that you were in previously, and ask for a full water analysis, including borates. Of course, you will have to make sure that the same employee is not around.
    2) Get your own test strips to test for borates.
    3) Take a sample in to another store.

    It turns out this was a clerical error on the part of the tester. They do not even test for Borates, but it is in their software package.

    The 365 ppm reading is actually for Total Disolved Solids, not Borate.

    The tester just put the reading for TDS in the Borate column. Oh the joys of modern technology

    Thanks all for your comments!
    18,500 gallons, DE filter, IG
    Onyx Ansylbrite (colored) plaster
    Jandy Pump 1.0 HP, Zodiac Filter (flow rate = 120 gpm)
    Installed May 2012

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